New Richmond Utilities Lead Lineman Kevin Blader (center) stands with WPPI Energy CEO Mike Peters (left) and WPPI Energy Board Chair Jeff Feldt (right)

NEW RICHMOND — New Richmond Utilities, the community’s locally owned, not-for-profit municipal utility, attended the WPPI Energy Annual Meeting on September 19, 2019. 

 With over 50 utility organizations present, Kevin Blader, Lead Lineman for New Richmond Utilities, received the WPPI Energy Shining Star Award. The award is based on criteria of proven leadership and dedication to strategic initiatives within the utility.

 According to Weston Arndt, Electric Superintendent, “Kevin is passionate about improving the distribution system to make it more robust and reliable.  While he says, ‘I'm just trying to keep the lights on,’ he pours every ounce into doing just that, with a long-term vision and a high level of commitment to prepare for the future.  When looking at options to do something cheap, easy, and fast, Kevin is driven to do things right, and will make sacrifices and encourage others to do the right thing as well.”

 The citizens of New Richmond founded New Richmond Utilities. It has remained a public power utility since that time and utility employees continue to be guided by the principles of local ownership and control, keeping revenue in the community, providing first-rate customer service, and making a positive impact in the community through volunteer and outreach efforts.

 Arndt continued, “Kevin is a hard-charger with a tremendous work ethic and attention to detail.  He cares deeply about ‘the guys’ and takes our ‘Family-First, Safety-First’ pillar to heart, ensuring our tools, equipment, and procedures keeps us all safe and able to go home each night.”

New Richmond Utilities is a locally owned, not-for-profit utility providing services to business and residential customers in New Richmond, Wisconsin. As a member-owner of WPPI Energy, they join forces with 50 other public power utilities. Together they share resources to provide reliable, affordable electricity to more than 200,000 homes and businesses in Wisconsin, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and Iowa.